While he was coach in Pittsburgh, Dan Bylsma gave his defensemen the green light to show their offensive skills. Blue-liners such as Sergei Gonchar, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski finished near the top of the Penguins’ point list.
The Sabres’ new coach is bringing that philosophy to Buffalo, and it should be evident Saturday night against New Jersey during the prospects challenge.
“Hopefully, what we’re trying to incorporate is a bit of Dan’s mentality where he wants D available to help out offensively,” said Rochester coach Randy Cunneyworth, who will run the prospect team.
Brendan Guhle, a second-round draft pick in June who has already signed with the Sabres, should be at the forefront of the defense in First Niagara Center. Guhle will also man the point on the power play.
“I’ll just play my game, play good defense, use my skating to my advantage, get up in the play, get up in the rush, maybe get a few points,” the 18-year-old said. “I’m excited.”
Faceoff is 7 p.m., with only a few thousand tickets sold so far. They are available for $10 at the arena box office and Tickets.com.